scrap art and i'm a 6 year old

we did scrap art with the kids the other day and i was inspired to make a picture of my cat (actually, he is known as "scrapper" at the vet). i haven't drawn in a long time, so here is my little piece of art. i tried to replicate his wide-eyed owl look. i got a little too in to it while i was at work, although i did come back to reality and help the kids too. but i understood why little kids get so protective over their artwork when they make something they like.


the sock bug

i think i caught it! i knit my first pair of socks for my mom's birthday, inspired by these posts from wikstenmade. i always thought sock knitting was bizarre (a lot of effort for something you put in your shoes) and i knew that was like, knitting blasphemy, but i didn't think it made sense. but then when i heard that the socks FEEL really good, i was intrigued.
my photos, as usual, leave something to be desired. how do you photograph socks? these are olympian socks made from madeline tosh sock yarn. i liked the squishiness of sock yarn, and this was a nice color ("ox blood" was handwritten on the label. lovely). i, impatient as ever, made the cuffs shorter, which looks a little weird off the foot, but i think ok on.

i liked it so much i bought my next sock yarn - quince & co. wool from knit wit in portland, maine (hello, i just read quince & co.'s website and i had no idea they are american-made from american animals and it sounds like they may care about how the animals are treated. i did not even know all this good information when i bought this yarn.) and, this store was awesome too. adding to how much i love portland.

so down the road, there may be more socks... after another sweater and a hippo. and look at this humanoid knock-off from rennes, who posted pictures of MY humanoid knock-off last week!


the no-knit no-sew series: cloth

before i wrap up my little craft project series, i have to thank julia from rennes for her post on my humanoid sweater! i saw her post a few weeks back about making her own version, so when i completed mine, i emailed her, and i had no idea she would post my sweater! that's so nice! i can't wait to see hers.
(photo and tutorial courtesy of design*sponge)
and for the last of the no-knit no-sew, we have fabric. these argyle sock vases might be the most simple, and probably the coolest thing you've never thought of for your mismatched socks that you can't part with. i saw a similar post way back on the haystack needle too. unfortunately, i don't have socks that cute. it crossed my mind to look at salvation army, but i am not so fond of feet and that thought went fleeting.

(photo and tutorial courtesy of design*sponge)

i love the idea of rubber stamping fabric, and again, it doesn't have to just be on a dishtowel. i was drawn to this particular stamped picture, in fact - i would probably frame it and hang it on the wall!

(photo and tutorial courtesy of poppytalk)
i LOVE this project, another from Arounna Khourannaj from Boukhou for poppytalk. i would probably turn this into a placemat (i know, how many trivets should i really post because how many trivets do you need? i don't even have one). i'm a sucker for things that looked old, weathered, worn, and ripped and this another good repurpose. i like the DIY loom too.

(photo and tutorial courtesy of design*sponge)
this is probably the most ambitious but i think this canvas calendar from design*sponge is so cool. the computer/printing part stumps me a little, but i'm sure if i focused i could get it. you could get super-creative with this one, and if you are more computer-savvy than me, this would be a fun one and you could add embroidery to your repertoire.
that's it for the no-knit no-sew, maybe it will lead to more of these types of projects of my own...


finally a humanoid

boy, i dragged this one out.

i finally {sort of} finished my humanoid knock-off. a little over two years ago i saw this sweater from garmenthouse (then green olives design) and when i traced it back to the original humanoid sweater, i was super-excited to pull it off. i bought the yarn in july 2009, cast on in october 2009 and sewed the buttons on this past saturday. i guess i got distracted along the way.

happy-ish with:
1. the little holes
2. the faux inside-out raglan seam
3. the front placket
4. the sleeves
not so happy with:
1. the fact that i can't take a decent picture.
2. the width and the length (oh, kind of important, right?)
3. my too-tight bind off of the hem
4. my wonky left shoulder collar
over the almost two years that i first discovered this, i've noticed a number of other attempts to make this, all seeming to be inspired by garmenthouse's pioneer attempt. i had no idea it would inspire so many people, but i guess i'm not surprised. i'm sure there will be many others, and hopefully they'll fix what i did wrong (i realize several of my not-so-happy list are fixable, but ugh. i don't feel like it. maybe in another year and a half)


the no-knit no-sew series: wool & thread

this next group of tutorials offers a chance to work with wool, yarn, and thread without knitting or crocheting a stitch.
(photo and tutorial courtesy of purl bee)
this felt ball trivet from purl bee is a simple enough project that also teaches a technique for knotting that can be used for beaded jewelry. aside from this cute trivet (a good gift), you can apply this tutorial to a lot of other projects.
(photo and tutorial courtesy of purl bee)
i love the stitches on these sampler pillows, again from purl bee. pillowcases are a nice medium for experimenting and this tutorial offers a nice guide for learning stitches that are not as complicated as they might look. you could use these stitches on tote bags, shirts, tablecloths, hand towels...

(photo and tutorial courtesy of purl bee)

in addition to the pillows above, this is an awesome guide to all kinds of needlework, a tutorial i'll be consulting when i start to embroider an antique embroidery pattern i bought at brimfield antique markets this summer.

another simple craft is this "diy necklace" from jenny gordy of wikstenmade for lucky magazine. (wikstenmade is one of my favorite blogs and designers, and i love the patterns i have bought from her). i have started braiding some embroidery floss, but haven't found the right beads - i like pairing of the metal beads with the yarn and string.

(photo and tutorial courtesy of purl bee)

finally, yet another half-finished project i've done! i've gotta get my act together. i started felting some roving for this felted garland a couple days after christmas, so maybe by next christmas i'll have a garland. you could make this any time and use any combination of colors.


last of the series will be cloth.


the no-knit no-sew series: paper

(photo courtesy of design*sponge)

i have been lucky enough to be part of a new weekly craft night full of lovely ladies - three of whom i taught how to knit! (making my total of knitters added to the world FIVE). this group made me think it would be nice to have a compilation of interesting, doable crafts for the no-knit/no-sew crew. hence the no-knit no-sew series.

the first installment, paper.

(photo and tutorial courtesy of design*sponge)

i own a similar scrap-paper journal i bought at a craft show in cambridge a few years ago - i would love to make my own with this recycled paper journal tutorial from design*sponge, from the bbcraft sisters (it looks like there are a lot of good crafts on their blog too). making a nicely-bound journal might not as difficult as one might imagine. mine is made up of old math worksheets, graph paper, and typed lists.

(photo and tutorial courtesy of poppytalk)

i love this paper garland from Arounna Khounnoraj of bookhou for poppytalk - the paper scraps are cut out paper doll-style, and i love the look of magazine scraps. there is certainly room for creativity in this one.

(photo and tutorial courtesy of design*sponge)

i am halfway (or more) through this line-a-day vintage postcard calendar from ashleyannphotography for design*sponge. i stamped every day of the year, but got stuck trying to find the right container! that, and my backordered one line a day journal arrived, although i thought there was a chance that this calendar would be a nice gift for a soon-to-be mom i know. a line a day could be a realistic goal to track memories while you chase around a little one over the years.

(photo and tutorial courtesy of design*sponge)

this is yet another cool paper tutorial from design*sponge (can you tell they have a ton of wonderful diy tutorials?) i wish there was more letter writing going on in the world, but maybe this could be encouragement. although this requires more "equipment," i love the stamp-making.
next up: wool and yarn


the positive side of snow days

sharing company with extra sleep and long hours in pajamas, plugging through a pile of knitting and sewing is one of the perks of a horrendous ice/snow tangle. i had such a great snow day on tuesday! i hadn't gotten on the sewing machine in quite some time and LOVE my new slippers:
these are recycled sweater slippers from sewing green. i love them so much more than i thought i would - they are made from an old yard sale sweater that i machine-felted. the only modification i made was to make the toe a little less pointy and elf-like.

they are so warm. i guess they should be if you're basically wrapping a wool sweater around your wool-socked feet.

and my favorite part is the striped denim fabric i used for the soles - i love how it looks with the taupe slippers. everything was stitched with contrasting red thread, but it only shows up in the close-up of the soles below.

to add to my repurposed clothing collection i made two "quick fix grocery bags" from this wonderful tutorial from the blog //Between the lines// (who last week received much deserved credit after good housekeeping originally posted this as an original tutorial of theirs. what?!)

this one has become my new lunch bag.

and this one is hard to see the slits because of the pattern, but i love the pattern so i don't care - this will probably turn into a beach bag this summer. this far, far away summer.



continuing on the theme of risky knitting (knitting without knowing if you really are going to have enough yarn to finish - the thrills!), i ripped the crown out four times before reaching the right balance between a decent length in the hat and the amount of yarn i had left.
this is tetsubou, a design by kirsten johnstone, whose blog i follow and where i first saw this hat. i love here designs and her photography. her tetsubou is much nicer than mine.

felted tweed was so-so for this project. i don't hate it or love it. my favorite part of the hat are the flaps, although the second flap was tricky to get straight, picking up the right stitch from the right column. i did not knit the full 7 inches of the hat and can't remember what i did, but wish i could have knit this a little bigger and a little longer.

in order to maximize my small amount of yarn, when i was getting close to the end, i unravelled my little ball of yarn, and made the i-cord on that end, and left it on the ball, so that i knew how much i needed for the i-cord. know what i mean?

and i also love the twirling star pattern of the crown decreases.
wow, snow days really help me keep up with this blog. and let me craft with reckless abandon. more on this soon too.


rapid gratification

different than instant gratification, this is what happens when you knit with big chunky yarns, especially when you haven't done so in quite some time...
and you get a warm, cabled, earflap hat in less than 24 hours!

and my favorite part was that i was able to knit this just so.... that the yarn pictured below is all i had left! i love that!

the hat is 18 seconds to sunrise, knit with a locally grown/spun yarn from "west elm" with the following modifications:
  • CO 60 sts (my gauge was a little bigger than 3st/in)
  • i used 6 st cables instead of the 8st cables in the pattern, so i started with k6 p4
  • i only completed rows 1-16, then 1-3 or 4, since the hat was long enough and that's what i had enough yarn for. somehow i modified the decreases, but don't really remember specifics
  • i knotted the i-cords instead of tassels, and they are my favorite part of the hat.

as for another quick knit:

cottage slipper socks, technically my first socks (but more to come later). the only mods i made were to CO 24 instead of 28 so that they were shorter (and so that, again, i had enough yarn). i like these a lot and both of these have already gotten a lot of use this cold january, but unfortunately i didn't take a picture of the socks before they already started to look quite worn.
the theme here is adventurous knitting, aka knitting while realizing you may be running out of yarn very soon... more on this in the next post.